He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘the old is better.’” (Luke 5:36-39)
My ex-mother-in-law, a dear woman, gave me a glimpse into the past. She darned old socks using inflexible thread. The old socks were uncomfortable because the new thread didn’t stretch and bound our toes. New socks are preferable to old darned socks or socks with holes.
It’s easy to see why you shouldn’t patch an old garment with a new garment, but wineskins (goat skins) aren’t used for fermenting any longer. Like old socks, old wineskins were already stretched to capacity. If you poured grape juice into them to ferment, the gases would burst the old wineskins. Jesus painted a picture to show these new Christian Pharisees and His disciples that a new life with Jesus can’t be mixed with their old life. Jewish followers had to give up their rich culture to follow Him. The new way of life was easier, but history reveals most Jews didn’t want to give up their old customs. They thought, “the old is better,” and chose to believe that Jesus wasn’t their Messiah.
Christians should abandon their old way of thinking that we can do life on our own. It’s difficult for us to give control to God, but when we make mistakes and listen to the lies of the enemy, life comes crashing down on us. Often we think God has deserted us or we blame God for our actions. But Followers of Jesus must believe the promises of God. We have to ask to receive, believe that God will take care of us, and let Jesus guide us in our everyday journeys to experience joy.
Father God, help us to believe and follow the teachings of Jesus and Your Word. Assist us in giving up our old way of thinking to let Jesus guide us. Amen.